The possibility of autonomous computers raises many social and ethical issues including job displacement and decisions involving human lives.
From smart assistants like Alexa and Siri to the latest bleeding edge advancements in robotics, there's no buzzier buzzwords in the tech world than artificial intelligence. The topic of AI has been a primary focus for Intel's Brian Krzanich, as he works to expand the chipmaker's scope from PCs to the next generation of technology breakthroughs. Intel's Chief Executive will be joining us on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2017 in September to discuss the company's recent massive investments in AI, from multibillion dollar acquisitions to the formation of the Artificial Intelligence Products Group, which reports directly to Krzanich. In a post on Policy@Intel, the company's public policy blog, Brian Krzanich wrote that he resigned from the American Manufacturing Council on Monday "to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues, including the serious need to address the decline of American manufacturing."
But according to Elon Musk, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) poses a much greater threat to humanity than Kim Jong-un's belligerent regime in Pyongyang. The Tesla and SpaceX chief executive has long warned of the dangers of AI and issued his latest opinion after a bot from OpenAI defeated some of the world's best players in in a professional gaming competition. Musk has previously urged governors to legislate for safe uses of AI, stating that robots could replace humans in any kind of job and could be incentivized to harm humans. Musk shot back that Zuckerberg's understanding of the subject was "limited."
While I'm going to use less colorful language here, substitute "killer robots" for "snakes" and "the conversation about AI" for the word "plane," and you'll understand how I feel. Musk has called for establishing new government regulations that would force companies to slow down their work on artificial intelligence technologies. Chatbot technology, particularly in the domain of customer service, is where AI can be practically applied today, and artificially intelligent chatbots hold tremendous promise to improve our daily lives. If you can appreciate how hard it is to make AI work in these examples, you can appreciate how difficult it is to create an environment in which unsupervised machine learning takes place, without human involvement.
Late last week, Musk tweeted that AI is far more dangerous than North Korea, adding that he believes regulation will be necessary to contain the burgeoning technology. At a recent MIT symposium, Musk echoed recent sentiments from Stephen Hawking by declaring that AI constitutes our "biggest existential threat." Many titans in the field -- including Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg (who last year announced his annual self-improvement project was to create a personal robot butler), futurist Ray Kurzweil (who authored the seminal book The Singularity Is Near and believes AI will entirely surpass human intelligence and acuity by 2029), and AI engineer Andrew Ng (who heads Baidu, China's Google, and wears a jacket that says "Trust the Robot") -- believe humans will not face an existential threat from AI and will, in fact, flourish and grow with its assistance. His electric cars and space rockets will require advanced algorithmic AI, including state of the art automation and deep learning, so it stands to reason that he wants his companies to dominate the field.
Last week, an artificial intelligence bot created by the Elon Musk-backed start-up OpenAI defeated some of the world's most talented players of Dota 2, a fast-paced, highly complex, multiplayer online video game that draws fierce competition from all over the globe. Danylo "Dendi" Ishutin, one of the game's top players, was defeated twice by his AI competition, which felt "a little like human, but a little like something else," he said, according to the Verge. Tesla chief executive Elon Musk hailed the bot's achievement in historic fashion on Twitter before going on to once again express his concerns about artificial intelligence, which he said poses "vastly more risk than North Korea." Vastly more complex than traditional board games like chess & Go.
How does it fit into a company's digital transformation plans, and how can you make the technology and approaches work for your business? Here, it has become an important next step in helping operators' transition from Communications Service Providers into more advanced Digital Service Providers that can predict their customers wants and needs. AI is empowering service providers with a range of new capabilities such as deep learning, natural language processing, and cognitive computing to create a digital interface that will essentially deal directly with human beings, addressing and resolving customer service issues. The key elements of artificial intelligence – machine learning, cognitive computing, natural language processing, and sentiment analysis, combined with more effective real-time data management – make this possible.
Pepper, the new hire, doesn't have the most sophisticated skill set at this point -- for one thing, she can't make financial transactions -- but she's made a big leap forward in becoming the first customer service robot in Canadian banking. All of Canada's Big Five banks are using, testing or eyeing both chatbots for front-line service and software bots for the back office. TD's pilot involves testing simple tasks, such as helping to navigate customers towards transactions they want to perform, Khalfan said. Over the past 18 months, the Big Five banks have begun using or testing Robotic Process Automation (RPA), software that can be programmed to perform manual, time-consuming office tasks modelled on the actions of a human user, So said.
Aaron Levie, chief executive of cloud storage vendor Box, recently said: "If you want a job for the next few years, work in technology. If you do not have a STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) background, but are more "artsy", design (of products and services and user interfaces) is one of the surest ways for a non-technologist to thrive in an increasingly technocentric world. In recent research conducted by the Cognizant Centre for the Future of Work, almost all of the 2,500 leading executives who were interviewed agreed that humans need to be more "strategic" in the face of growing automation. To better understand how your company can benefit from artificial intelligence, visit whenmachinesdoeverything.com Ben Pring is a co-author of What To Do When Machines Do Everything (Wiley 2017) and leads Cognizant's Centre for the Future of Work.
The fast-growing technology has the potential to disrupt the entire industry and greatly improve the insurance customer experience. Traditionally, insurance companies used blanket methods like cold calling customers, but today's customers expect personalized sales tactics. Instead of spending valuable time and money on the underwriting process, which typically includes invasive questions and surveys about to dictate premiums, artificial intelligence could automate the entire process. However, the combination of a new wave of thinking and newly developed artificial intelligence technology has the potential to completely change the customer experience to provide great service in a way that resonates with modern customers.